After playing two exhibition games at the T.G. Smith Arena, the defending Turnbull Cup champions have officially moved their operations to La Broquerie. The Steinbach Pistons will play their home games at the HyLife Centre this season as the hockey team awaits the completion of the Southeast Events Centre. The Pistons begin the 2023-24 Manitoba Junior Hockey League season Friday night against the Oil Capitals in Virden. Steinbach's home opener is September 28th against the Portage Terriers at the HyLife Centre. 

The Brandon Wheat Kings have reassigned Gradey Hope and Emerson Clark to the U18 ranks. Both defensemen played in every game of the pre-season. Clark was the team’s third round pick, 56th overall in the 2022 WHL prospects draft. He played last season with the Saskatoon Blazers in the Saskatchewan U18 AAA league and will rejoin them for the coming season. Hope was selected by the Wheat Kings in the fourth round of the 2022 draft. Last season he played with OHA’s U18 prep program, but this season he’s off to the Northern Alberta XTreme prep program. The Wheat Kings open the 2023-24 season Friday at home against the Regina Pats. 

Sport Manitoba announced the recipients of the Sport Manitoba Coaching Awards while celebrating National Coaches Week. Kurtis Cullen of Brandon who coaches the Brandon Racquetball Association Junior Program received the Vince Leah Memorial Award - Fundamentals. The award recognizes coaches who coach grassroots-level athletes of any age through a non-competitive approach, focusing on participation and making sport fun. Sandra Page of Winnipeg, who has coached in canoe kayak for six years and supervises the Manitoba Canoe and Kayak Club Youth Group and facilitates training camps and clinics, received the Dr. Jack Hunt Award - Learn to Train. This award recognizes coaches who are developing athletes’ competitive skills while preparing them for regional and provincial competitions. Kyler Murray of Oakbank, who was an apprentice coach for 2023 Canada Winter Games, and was selected to be the Head Coach for the badminton team that competed in the 2023 North American Indigenous Games in Halifax, is the Janet Arnott Memorial Award - Train to Train winner. This award recognizes coaches who work with athletes competing at the Canada Games and National Championships. Gabrielle Wishart of Winnipeg is the Peter Williamson Memorial Award - Train to Compete/Train to Win recipient. This award recognizes coaches who primarily coach high-performance athletes who compete at the national or international level. Wishart has coached volleyball for seven years and was named Head Coach for Team Manitoba’s 16U male volleyball team at the 2023 North American Indigenous Games.

hockey_2023The Nighthawks play their home opener Friday night against the Steelers (photo courtesy Scott Stroh)

The Niverville Nighthawks begin their second season in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League Friday night at home against the Selkirk Steelers. Nighthawks head coach and general manager Kelvin Cech will join Clayton Dreger on Sportsbeat which airs Wednesdays at 5:15 p.m. on AM 1250 Radio.